FDP politician: The possible minister who hardly anyone has on their radar

Bettina Stark-Watzinger

The chairwoman of the State Association of Hesse is now also on the Presidium of the FDP.

(Foto: action press)

In the coming week, the negotiators from the SPD, Greens and FDP will present the coalition agreement. The ministries’ layouts are to be laid down in it. It is true that no names have been given for the ministerial offices, because the coalition agreement has to be passed through party committees and possibly through member decisions. But a woman in the FDP can calculate the best chances. Bettina Stark-Watzinger is the quiet star of the Liberals.

The 53-year-old Hessin belongs to the core negotiating team of party leader Christian Lindner. While her male colleagues, the general secretary Volker Wissing and the first parliamentary managing director Marco Buschmann, represent the FDP in press conferences and talk shows, she mainly has an impact on the party and parliamentary group.

No matter who you are currently asking about her in the FDP, the verdict is positive. Stark-Watzinger captivates with her common sense, understands how to convey, and is technically strong.

Her factual, unagitated manner is well received by the Liberals. But she can also dish out. She responded to the criticism of the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder of the traffic light infection protection law on Twitter: “Control question: If @Markus_Soeder knows everything, why doesn’t he finally put his skills into practice #Bayern and get the pandemic under control there? “

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Change of power without quarrels

The trained economist worked successfully in the financial sector for 13 years, including several years in London. After a stint at the scientific academy of the German start-up scene, the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel, she worked in the commercial department of the interdisciplinary research facility Safe. It has been a Leibniz Institute for Financial Market Research since 2020 and resides in the House of Finance in Frankfurt.

In politics, too, she initially made a name for herself with financial issues. She was chairman of the Bundestag finance committee before she brought Lindner into the group’s closest leadership circle and made her parliamentary manager. The chairwoman of the State Association of Hesse is now also on the Presidium of the FDP. There she succeeded Stefan Ruppert, who had switched to the medical technology manufacturer Brain in Notifications. The change took place noiselessly and without quarrels. That was not always the case in the FDP. Like her predecessor Ruppert, Stark-Watzinger has nothing to shout about. It stands in the Hessian tradition of the FDP honorary chairman Hermann Otto Solms, who always stood for the serious in the party.

Other ministerial women have left the race for ministerial offices for a variety of reasons. Katja Suding from Hamburg, who was partly responsible for the rise of the FDP, left politics. The whole political business was too much for her. The Deputy President of the EU Parliament, Nicola Beer, would also like to become a minister. But she is not exactly popular in the party. In the last election to the board, she got a bad result.

Then there is defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann. She has many supporters and sympathizers in the party, also because of her unconventional nature. There are quite a few who would see her in the Bendler Block. The Minister of Defense traditionally sits there. But your chances are likely to be rather slim. Like Christian Lindner, Marco Buschmann and party vice-president Johannes Vogel, she comes from North Rhine-Westphalia. However, a regional association cannot claim all of the top positions for itself.

Good chances for a ministerial office

The chances are good that the FDP will get the Federal Ministry of Finance. But then Christian Lindner will do that himself. In the party, some point out that Stark-Watzinger speaks out on education and innovation issues. Another important field for the FDP. It has not been agreed that the FDP and thus Stark-Watzinger will get such a ministry. But if the FDP can negotiate an education and innovation ministry, it should be the first candidate.

Stark-Watzinger has had a quick career in politics. She belongs to the 2017 generation in the FDP. After the Liberals were thrown out of parliament in 2013, Lindner rebuilt the party and relied on fresh minds. One of these newcomers is Stark-Watzinger, who did not have the typical professional political career. Not just that she worked in the financial industry. The mother of two adult daughters, the husband is self-employed, joined the FDP in 2004 and could crown her political career with a ministerial office 17 years later.

More: These politicians negotiate the coalition agreement

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